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Showing posts from January, 2015

the WORD

If the written ‘WORD’ of our Elohim is not important, than why does our adversary know it so well?  Why has he taken the time to learn it inside and out, backwards and forwards?  Should WE not also learn the Word of YHWH for ourselves, have it dwell richly IN us, for us to live, breathe, eat, sleep, the WORD?  We are told that the WORD is alive (Hebrews 4:12), that it is a weapon for our use (Ephesians 6:17), it is a shield that has been tried and tested (Proverbs 30:5; Psalm 18:30), it is a spotlight, guiding us along the straight and narrow path (Psalm 119:105), and that the hearing of the WORD is necessary to build up our faith (Romans 10:17).  It is also the food that we need to eat (Luke 4:4) in order to stand FIRMLY in these last days …
“… And put on the helmet of salvation and take hold of the sword of the spirit, which is the WORD of Eloah.”  (Ephesians 6:17 HRVS, emphasis mine)
Our adversary, HaSatan, will use everything he can to hinder us from spending time studying the writt…

Trials

“Yet He knows the way I take; when HE has TESTED ME, I will come out like gold.” (Job 23:10 CJB, emphasis mine)

Every four years, in a different nation and city, we watch the Olympic Games, where athletes from around the world compete for ‘the gold’.  The Olympic Games are a tradition many centuries old; however, for the athlete competing at the Games, the road to get there is a long one.  The commitment to excellence, the consistency in training, and the ‘trials’ that have to be endured, physical, mental, and emotional, are ALL a ‘testing ground’ to refinement.  Only by cultivating ‘tunnel vision’, by keeping their eyes on the goal of the Olympic Gold Medal, are these athletes able to endure all that they go through.
Is it not the same for us?  As we pass through our own ‘Olympic Trials’, we are also to keep our eyes on the prize (Philippians 3:14).  Yet, how many of us murmur and complain at the very ‘trial’ that is refining us, perfecting us, bringing us more and more toward the imag…

Branches

“Bring forth fruit that is consistent with repentance [let your lives prove your change of heart] …” (Matthew 3:8 Amp, emphasis mine)

Flowers are often fragrant, and their colors are a delight to the eye.  The thick green of leaves and branches are also pleasing, especially as shade on a hot summer day.  However, YHWH determined that it is in ‘fruit’ that value is found.  The quality of OUR fruit will always parallel the maturity of our conduct, the integrity of our character, and the reflection of Messiah Yeshua in our lives.  Only as we stay united and attached to THE  Vine, are we able to produce the quality of fruit necessary in our walk with our Adonai, for according to John 15:5, without our Master, we can do nothing.
“Any branch IN ME that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away)…”  (John 15:2 Amp, emphasis mine)
I have pondered these words; I have read them in a dozen (or more) different translations, and they all say basically the same thing. …

Yielding to the Spirit

“Therefore, you will fully know them by their FRUITS. (Matthew 7:20 Amp, emphasis mine)

With the same process that we grow and mature in our natural, physical lives, so it is in our spiritual lives also.  And as it is in our physical lives, we also need vital nutrients necessary for our spiritual growth.  As long as WE choose to remain “united with the vine” (John 15:1-8), we will be supplied with the nutrients that we need.  However, in order for growth to follow its proper order, it will be necessary for us to progressively yield to the work of the Ruach haKodesh, the Spirit of YHWH, within us.  The evidence of this submission will be the QUALITY of our fruit – each one will visibly improve for others to see AND inspect.  We are a people on display; we are to be a city set on a hill (Matthew 5:14), and it is the fruit of the HOLY Spirit evident and operating in our lives that will convince and convict people of the reality of the love of our Adonai Yeshua (1Corinthians 13:8).
As we c…

The Fruit of LOVE

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is LOVE …”(Galatians 5:22 Amp, emphasis mine)

There are a total of nine fruit of the HOLY Spirit; it has been explained to me that the fruit of ‘love’ is the skin, the peel, if you will, that bonds and holds all of the other fruit together.  The Word tells us that love covers (Proverbs 10:12), does no wrong to anyone (Romans 13:10), and never fails (1Corinthians 13:8).  The other eight fruit of the Spirit will not reach maturity without the fertilizing effect of YHWH’s love working within our hearts and lives, and our fruit-bearing success will be limited to how much free rein WE allow His Spirit to have.  How many green, unripe fruit have we thrown to the ground because of a moment of stiff-necked rebellion?
Messiah Yeshua re-emphasized instructions from the TORAH, concerning our relationships with one another, during His ministry here on this earth:  We are to LOVE each other as HEloved us, in that H…

The Fruit of SELF-CONTROL

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is … SELF-CONTROL (self-restraint, continence).” (Galatians 5:22-23 Amp, emphasis mine)

Many are the facts and documentation available, in our modern world, with which to confirm and verify the LACK of ‘self-control’ that is predominant these days.  We live in a society where over-indulgence and excess is a common thing, and it pertains to most every area of our lives:  eating, drinking, spending, sleeping, being in a constant state of anger, just to name a few.  Clinics and costly treatment centers have been established to address these rapidly escalating problems with no end in site; to a world caught in a tail spin, they must seem like no-win, hopeless situations.
“He who has NO RULE OVER HIS OWN SPIRIT is like a city that is broken down and without walls.”  (Proverbs 25:28 Amp, emphasis mine)
However, to those of us who know HIM, Messiah Yeshua, as our true Vine, the Spirit of YHWH will produce IN U…

The Fruit of MEEKNESS

“But the fruit of the Spirit is … MEEKNESS”(Galatians 5:22-23 KJV, emphasis mine)

It has been almost 30 years ago.  When I had asked my Elohim to give me understanding concerning the fruit of ‘meekness’, this was the event He reminded me of. It still brings tears to my eyes when I recall the incident …
It was on a winter’s day, and I had been observing a team of two extremely well trained draft horses.  (In my part of the United States, horses are occasionally still used on ranches to feed hay to livestock in the winter time, through deep snow.  The hay is stacked on a large sled, and pulled by horses, from 2 to as many as 8.  As the sled is pulled through the loose livestock, the ranchers throw the hay off the sled to feed their animals.)  This particular team of horses had obviously been paired together often, and had been over this same route to feed many times – they knew when to turn, which way to turn, whether to the right or left, when to stop, when to go, and when to stand quiet…

The Fruit of FAITHFULNESS

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is … FAITHFULNESS (Galatians 5:22 Amp, emphasis mine)

Most of us are familiar with the old saying :  “when the chips are down, you know who your friends are”.  But are WE one of those friends that can be counted on, no matter what?  ‘Faithfulness’ is being loyal, trustworthy and dependable, in EVERY circumstance, and situation.  Ruth is a perfect example of this fruit of faithfulness, shown in her commitment and care of her mother-in-law, Naomi (see Ruth 1:16-18).
In the Parable of the Talents, Messiah Yeshua teaches us about being accountable for those things which we have been trusted with (see Matthew 25:14-30).  In order for us to be on the “rewards end of the line”, faithfulness comes in to the picture.  We MUSTbe faithful in the stewardship of what we have been given (including relationships), before we will ever hear our Lord tell us, “Well done, good and FAITHFUL servant; enter into the joy of…

The Fruit of GOODNESS

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is … GOODNESS (benevolence)(Galatians 5:22 Amp, emphasis mine)

It is inherited within us the need to blow our own trumpet, even if it is just a small one, when we ‘do good’.  We all know of people, admirable people, who have ‘good’ qualities in their character; these people may have an intense desire to DO good, and may even abstain from all evil.  However, their motive for doing good MUST be from a heart open and broken before YHWH - regardless of whether there is anyone to watch them perform their ‘good deeds’ or not.  The Apostle Paul tells us that no “GOOD thing” dwells in our flesh (Romans 7:18), and James lets us know that if we deliberately withhold the ability to “DO good”, we are in sin (James 4:17).  The answer? 
“[Not in your own strength] for it is GOD Who is all the while effectually AT WORK IN YOU [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for HIS go…

The Fruit of KINDNESS

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is … KINDNESS(Galatians 5:22 Amp, emphasis mine)

Many translations use the word ‘gentleness’ here; the two words are synonymous in meaning.  Kind and gentle has everything to do with our nature, our character and behavior, especially when under attack for whom to who we belong, and who we represent.  “Good manners” can often be mistaken for the fruit of kindness; however, good manners are NOT a fruit of the Spirit - good manners are a trained and learned discipline.  Kindness in words, kindness in behavior (both at home AND in public) at ALL times, and in ALL circumstances will ultimately tell the difference. This fruit is so important that the Apostle Paul SPECIFICALLY listed it as one of the requirements needed for church leadership (1Timothy 3:3; Titus 3:2; 2Timothy 2:24).
Always be humble, GENTLE and patient, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spir…

The Fruit of PATIENCE

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is … PATIENCE (an even temper, forbearance)(Galatians 5:22 Amp, emphasis mine)

There are still some versions of the Bible that translate the Greek word used here, in this verse as ‘longsuffering’; regardless of which word is used, one would need ‘patience’ to be able to stand for very long IN a place of suffering.  In both the Hebrew and the Greek, the original words that have been translated include the sense of patience while being provoked, an extreme tolerance, and being slow to rise to anger.  Apply all of that to God’s attitude towards us!  Repeatedly, WE have provoked and angered HIM with our careless and frivolous attitude concerning the holy things of YHWH, even to treating lightly the cost of our eternal salvation.  Longsuffering and patient?  Praise YHWH that He is!
YAHWEH is not negligent concerning His promises, as some count negligence, but is PATIENT toward us, not wishing any to peris…

The Fruit of PEACE

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is … PEACE(Galatians 5:22 Amp, emphasis mine)

I read a statement some years ago, that in the eons since the creation of our world (around six thousand years, according to many bible theologians), there have been only approximately two hundredof those six thousand years free from war and strife.  This world is surely looking for ‘peace’, in every form and in any way that it might be found.  However, true and lasting peace is only found in one place: in the Man, Yeshua our Messiah.
“Peace I leave with you – MY PEACE I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid … These words I have spoken to you, that IN ME you might have peace. In the world you have pressure, but take courage, I have overcome the world.” (John 14:27; 16:33 ISR, emphasis mine)
Peace results from a sense of safety and security in knowing to WHOM you belong.  When you s…

The Fruit of JOY

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is ... JOY (gladness) (Galatians 5:22 Amp, emphasis mine)

One of Noah Webster’s definitions of ‘joy’ is “a glorious and triumphant state” (American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828); however, it is only as we continue to walk in right relationship with YHWH, loving Him with everything in us, that we will experience the fruit of joy. When we begin to meditate on all that our Messiah and Redeemer has done FOR us, how can we not be filled with the joy of our Lord, filled with the triumph and victory that He has purchased for us?
“You love Him even though you have never seen Him; though not seeing Him, you trust Him; and even now you are happy with the inexpressible JOY that comes from heaven itself.”(1Peter 1:8 TLB, emphasis mine)
There is a ‘type’ of joy found in the world, but it is momentary and fleeting, and soon passes away.  In itself, it is not evil, for there are many things…

Bearing Fruit

“Dwell IN Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live IN Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding IN (being VITALLY UNITED TO) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide IN Me.(John 15:4 Amp, emphasis mine)

‘Bearing fruit’ has never been an option for us in our relationship with YHWH.  Our fruit bearing honors and glorifies the Father (John 15:8); it is a proof of our “teshuvah” (repentance, see Matthew 3:8); and it is also ONE of the evidences of the Spirit of YHWH at work in our lives (Galatians 5:22, 23).  If we fail to bear the PROPER fruit, according to John 15:2, the Father takes the branch “away”; those that DO bear fruit are repeatedly ‘pruned’, that they be more productive in their fruit bearing (see Matthew 7:17-20).
Fruit is always the result of what YHWH is doing IN and THROUGH our lives.  Everything we do for YAH is simply the overflow of what HE is doing in us.  However, the first (and most important) ingredient to bearing …

The Fear of the Lord

The fear of YAHWEH is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”  (Proverbs 9:10 HRB)

The following is listed in Noah Webster’s dictionary as one of the definitions of ‘fear’:  a “filial {as a child toa parent} passion; a holy awe or reverence of God and His laws, which springs from a just view and real love of the divine character, leading the subjects of it to hate and shun EVERY thing that can offend such a holy being, and inclining to aim at perfect obedience” (American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, insert and emphasis mine).
There is, perhaps, a simpler way of explaining this.  BECAUSE of my love and devotion to my YHWH, my Father God, I NEVER wish to be in the place or position of disappointing Him in His expectations of me.  Neither do I ever want to find myself separated from God by a consequence of my own actions.  Therefore, I strive to stay as close to Him as possible.  I have, in the past, used the example of stic…

Dedication, part 2

“and YAHWEH commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear YAHWEH our Elohim for our good forever, to keep us alive, as today. And it shall be righteousness for us when we take heed to do all this commandment before YAHWEH our Elohim, as He has commanded us.”  (Deuteronomy 6:24-24 HRB)

Thank You, Father, that as we wait upon You, our strength is renewed like the eagles’.  We lift up our eyes to the hills, for our help comes from YHWH, the Maker of heaven and earth.  You are a very present help in the day of trouble, and YOU deliver us from the evil one.  We shall stand still and see the salvation of our God; YOU, YHWH Elohim, will fight for us, and we shall hold on to our shalom, our peace.  Thank You, YAH, for the armor that we wear, for it comes from Your hands.  In You we rest, for NO weapon formed against us shall prosper, nor shall any tongue rise successfully in judgment against us.  This is our heritage as Your servants, and our righteousness is from You.
You are our refuge and…

Dedication, part 1

And YAHWEH commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear YAHWEH our Elohim for our good forever, to keep us alive, as today.  And it shall be righteousness for us when we take heed to do all this commandment before YAHWEH our Elohim, as He has commanded us.  (Deuteronomy 6:24-25 HRB)

Forever, O YHWH, Your Word stands fast in Heaven; it shall NEVER return to You empty, but it shall always accomplish THAT which You intend for it to do.  Our trust is in You, YHWH, with all of our hearts.  We do not lean on our own understanding.  In all of our ways, we WILL acknowledge You, and You shall direct our paths.  For Your Word is a lamp to our feet, and a light to our paths; our delight is in Your Word, and we meditate in it day and night.
You, YAH, are the Good Shepherd, and we are very careful to listen for Your voice.  By the very gentle and precious Ruach, the Spirit of YHWH, You lead us, You guide us, You instruct us in the way we should go.  May we always have ears to hear and a heart th…

NOW

"NOW will I rise, saith Yahweh; NOW will I be exalted; NOW will I lift up myself.” (Isaiah 33:10 WoY, emphasis mine)


There is a principal taught by the sages, that when we find something repeated TWICE within the Word of God, it is because this THING is to be established by YHWH, and He WILL shortly bring it to pass (see Genesis 41:32).  In our opening verse from Isaiah, we have the word “NOW” repeated THREE times in one verse – an extremely unusual occurrence in the Word of God.  There is an urgent emphasis on what YHWH is trying to show us:  the time is NOW.

Noah Webster defines “now” as “at the present time or moment; at one time; at another time” (American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828).  The Word of God simply says NOW is the time, the appointed time, and it is going to come to pass NOWThe Greek phrase “in a moment” is “atomos” (Strong’s#G823), and literally translated means the atomic second, something that is faster than the blink of a human eye.…